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Organ Mountain High School Boys Basketball has been a monster of a team during the first half of the prep basketball season — only recording one loss and grabbing 12 wins. The Knights have their eyes on a 5A District 3 championship trophy, but they also have bigger goals.
Organ Mountain currently has a 11-game winning streak, their last loss back in early December. Volcano Vista (15-1), another top team in the state, defeated the Knights 63-43 early in the season.
Since then, the Knights have been firing on all cylinders with seniors Brandon Kehres and YehNhi Wilson leading the way. Kehres averages 15.4 points per game and is the team’s top scorer while also pulling down 6.9 rebounds a game.
“I’m a very traditional player, go down low post up, get a bucket from there, if need be go out and hit the three or attack,” Kehres said about his type of game.
Wilson has a hot hand as well, averaging 11.2 points a game and leading the way in assists with 3.2 per game.
Both Kehres and Wilson said that these wins don’t just come down to their individual performances. They credited their teammates and bench players for the Knight’s early success.
“They help us a lot, they’re very young, they have talent,” Wilson said about his teammates. “We have Ethan (Coomes) coming off the bench as our guard, good defender. We have Pat (Delahoussaye), good slasher and rebounder. Ray (Venegas), very long, just like me — and the rest of them, they know how to hoop.”
Junior guard Ethan Coomes has a field goal percentage of nearly 60 percent, being the most effective shooter for the knights, while he averages 6.7 points per game, which is the fourth best on the team.
With two non-district games left, the district season is coming up fast for Organ Mountain. The Knights are the clear favorites to claim the district championship, but head coach Rocky Gonzales and his team are not going to take anyone lightly.
“Coaching-wise, if the coaching staff doesn’t come ready every game, I feel anyone in the district can beat us,” Gonzales said.
Specifically, Gonzales said that Las Cruces High (6-6), Alamogordo (10-5) and Centennial (6-7) have caught his eye so far. He said Cruces is a very young team but the way they play, they pose a threat to upset anybody. The Tigers from Alamogordo are a senior-led team, with six seniors on the roster — the only team in the district to beat the Knights last year. In regard to the Hawks, Gonzales said they have a good combination of veteran guards and some younger playmakers who can shoot the three lights out on any given night.
The Knights know they can’t look past anybody in the district, but they do know they have their sights set on greater horizons. Last year they came up short against Volcano Vista in the NMAA State Semi-Finals, losing that game by a score of 48-46. This year, Gonzales and company feel they have the seniors and bench to take a step closer to raising the blue state championship trophy.
“Last year, I wouldn’t even want to talk about a state championship: We got to win district first,” Gonzales said. “This year we kind of solidified ourselves as one of the teams to win the district. But last year we kind of made an impression on not just the district, but the rest of the state as far as what we got coming back and we put people on notice as far as, ‘Hey, you’re going to have to watch out for us’.”